So yesterday I went to the opening-night show of Iron Man 2. Amazing film. I’m in love with it; I was in love with the first one from the moment I realised how cool it was (that’d be around the opening credits), and I’ve re-discovered my love for the franchise with this new release.
Whilst watching it, I started to think: is this what our world will look like in the next 10 years? Of course, I don’t mean the HD explosions and that Iron Man suit… I’m talking about the actual tech and science.
When the first Iron Man released, we were awed by Tony Stark’s “magical” mobile gadgets; today, we’ve got the iPad, iPhone and yet-to-be-released Nokia N8 (set to change the mobile landscape with the new Symbian 3 OS).
In the film, there’s a scene with what looks suspiciously to be a particle accelerator. Now, without delving into the intricacies of theoretical physics (I’m actually quite fascinated by it, and do occasionally read up on it. I know, major geek. Yeah), we must understand that this is a branch if science that can greatly improve our lives. Discoveries in the research labs of top institutions like CERN and NASA will directly influence the gadgets we use in the coming years. Physics is all around us; we can’t escape its myriad laws. But it can improve our society.
For example, breakthroughs with the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiment at CERN in Geneva could change the way we consume energy. If scientists can correctly control and manipulate antimatter to provide power, we’ll have found the ultimate alternative to fossil fuels. And the Earth will thank us.
Superheroes like Iron Man, whilst fictitious, remain a beacon of inspiration to the next generation of thinkers, scientists and engineers — the people who will jettison our society into the next era of awe. I can personally say that my inspiration to become an engineer has been re-awakened after seeing that film last night. And the thing is that, in a world full of dreary news, we need heroes like Iron Man to show us that it is possible to build a better world through sheer intuition and ambition.
Advances in science and technology are exponentially increasing; in the span of just three years we’ve gone from no-iPhone, to a mobile market saturated with multi-touch technology. And let’s not forget that confusing iPad.
At this rate, we’ll have an Iron Man-esque era of technology in no time. And I seriously can’t wait for that.